I’m in a bookclub where we read classic literature, more modern literature, and anything that might strike the popular vote’s fancy. During the call, where we talked about the Lovecraft stories we read, I noticed I was enjoying myself, hanging out, joking, and laughing. I wonder, will “The Story,” in whatever media it finds itself in, to whatever degree it becomes, ever be a monthly bookclub entry? It seems like that would be the goal…
Spoilers?: Minor [comparing literature, perhaps]
Yet I haven’t suggested my novel for our reading list.
I don’t think I will. Although I write thousands of words per day, and likely tens of thousands of words per week, mostly about myself, and write in first-person, I don’t consider myself an overly egotistical person. The difference, I would say, is that although I know myself and appreciate myself as a person with values, I also don’t value myself over others. When I was driving to my spine doctor’s appointment yesterday, late, and lost, I cut someone off to call them to let them know I was late and lost. I feel bad about that because it was technically their turn to turn but I stepped in first. My back was already hurting by then, so thinking clearly wasn’t really my biggest strength, but I feel bad about stuff like that, especially know that I can’t take my independence for granted as much.
I would rather read other novels, as we are.
Despite my mostly negative opinions of Lovecraft, liking, really, only Dagon, some of us in the Unofficial ENDLESS WAR Bookclub call liked Lovecraft’s stories. It was a good split. It’s that healthy competition of pros and cons both within the game and in life that makes things interesting. I realized through that conversation that I like Dagon because I interpret it as an unreliable narrator story about addiction. Had I not been in the call, sure, I would have pieced some of that together, but not all. Pragmatically, reading books with others is useful for friendship purposes and progressing literary understandings.
Our next book is One Hundred Years of Solitude.
I’ve read the first chapter of it and it’s surreal enough to where I don’t overly enjoy it, but I’ll keep reading it to glean as much as I can from its literary perspective and to broaden my horizons. I don’t think my opinion will change much as I read, so it would be a waste of my time to read were I looking for a new favorite, but in terms of developing a better understanding of the world, sure, it’s fine. I may do some skimming because while I waited for the call and the decision, I started Crime and Punishment, which I like much more, and I’ve been finding that unless I am in significant pain, I can usually have a PDF open of the book we’re reading and read a paragraph even while listening to some vocal-free music, as I would any article or email.
Between reducing the sacredness of literature and this bookclub, literature is accessible.
I would, ideally, like my novels to be something that people could read to better understand the world as well. I feel like my perspective isn’t terribly unique or special, but through these years, I’ve lived perhaps harder than some, and at the very least, I can help others that haven’t lived as long as me to take shortcuts that might have helped me along the way. If I give people a novel – like I did with Novel 01, as my own sort of learning to deal with my own name, being called various nicknames, being disrespected at work, while working on bigger projects – and say, this is an experience I think is worth sharing, then it might help others through their own situations. Though I didn’t have Sammohini’s experiences, I channeled her thoughts and wrote them as best I could.
John and Trishna are the characters that I find the most reliable.
They might have stuck around in my psyche for nearly 20 years now because they are two traditional aspects of the masculine performing male and feminine performing female perspectives, if you will, and those are dualities that might be easy to compare. There’s a certain magic, in my mind, that runs deeper than that. They are part of me but they aren’t completely me. They are characters with thoughts and perspectives independent of mine, so when I go to write them, it will be interesting to see how they differ, especially seeing how Sammohini and other characters differed.
Sammohini wasn’t me but with a different name.
Reading more literature is helping me see these sorts of perspectives where even if 10% of these characters are reflections of the writer’s personality, the remaining 90% is wholly unique, and I think that’s a good balance to maintain. It might be easier to completely randomly generate the traits and characteristics of characters, but then how can you write to them? They are unrelatable characters. So I’d like to see how other characters work. Although I’ve enjoyed everything I’ve read of Honoré de Balzac, and I suggested some of his short stories for the bookclub, with my pitch being “imagine Hunter S. Thompson writing the Marvel Cinematic Universe in the 1850s,” I’m more than fine waiting a few months to read more Balzac and reading other things.
I’ll conclude with this John and Trishna-centric thought.
Through college, I imagine they’ll focus primarily on reading books for school. They may read some books for pleasure as well, but after college, I think it’d be nice if they did get into a good bookclub, because like mine, it’s a fun way to expand outside yourself, read some new things, talk about your opinions with friends, get your opinions challenged, sometimes respectfully, and maybe even find yourself with some new favorite book. If not, then they, or you, or I could always not attend the bookclub call or meeting.
They’re fun for literate conversation.
|Sources: The Story’s Imaginarium.|
|Inspirations: Thinking about the bookclub call.|
|Related: Essays building “The Story.”|
|Written On: 2020 July 31 at 11:38pm to August 01 at 12:15am, then realized I needed to add 10 more words, so from 12:24am to 12:25am.|
|Last Edited: 2020 August 01 [First draft; final draft for the Internet.]|